Chances of Having a Boy or a Girl
You may have heard that if a couple has two children, both of the same gender, say, girls, their chances of conceiving a third female baby is higher than conceiving a male. This idea has lived on for centuries but it’s simply a myth. Another myth related to gender is that men are more “manly” if they produce a line of boys and that women are more “feminine” if they produce all girls.
With each pregnancy, a couple has a 50% chance of conceiving either a boy or a girl. It’s no different than flipping a coin two times in a row and getting tails each time; the third time, the likelihood of getting tails is still 50%. The previous two coin flips won’t influence the outcome of the third. With each pregnancy, a couple has the same 50% chance of conceiving a girl.
It’s human nature to believe that somehow a cause underlies such events, but not true in the game of chance or in gender selection.
Although numerous people can attest to examples of families with only girls or only boys — sometimes six or 10!— semen samples from the fathers in these cases reveal a 50:50 ratio of male to female sperm. Remember, all semen contains approximately 50% of female-carrying (X) sperm cells and 50% male-carrying (Y) sperm cells.
The ratio of boys to girls in the United States is 51% to 49% (based the National Longitudinal Study of Youth). Many hypotheses explain why slightly more boys are born each year than girls. Yet no one knows for sure why this is so. A couple of theories aim to explain this: Male infants are more fragile. In fact, they are less likely to survive their first year. So Nature makes up for this with a slightly higher conception rate of males to even… [more]
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